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philthyphil

Motorcycle Safety Program

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philthyphil
I am planning to take the California Motorcycle Safety Program in the near future. The program contains a classroom section which prepares the student for taking the DMV written test, as well as several hours of actual riding where the student learns motorcycle riding fundamentals. I already have my motorcycle learners permit so I've already gotten the DMV written test out of the way. From here I have two options. I could make an appointment with the DMV and take a California DMV ride test, which would give me my endorsement, or I could complete the MSP which would also give me my endorsement. Even though I already have my permit I still want to take the MSP just for the value of the knowledge which will be gained through the course. 
 
My question is for anyone who has been through this process. I already have my permit, so there is no need for me to re-take the written test. Upon successful completion of the MSP will I instantly have my endorsement, or do I have to wait for them to process my completion and take that paper work to the DMV? Will I be able to ride after dark, and on the freeway right away, or do I have to actually go to the DMV after the completion of the class. 
 
I can't find the answer to this question on the MSP website. I also called them but the lady who picked up the phone wasn't sure. 

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pattonme
You will be required to complete the curricula in it's entirety if you want the MSF graduation card and yes that means the written and riding exam. But if you pass the CA riding tests on your own, then the MSF class is just for training and skills development.
 
I can't speak for CA but most programs, you have to pay the DMV a visit and let them photo-copy your completion card which will lead you to being issued an new 'M' class license. Only THEN will you be properly licensed and do night time and highway etc.
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jake
In MI you have to take the written at the DMV and take a skills test the only thing the class did was wave the skills test. You still have to go back to the DMV with the proof you took and passed the class.
 
Mine was three eight hour days and I think totally worth it 100%. I was a new rider too,  I did the same thing got my permit first and I was on the road. Took the class two months later and I learned I should have taken the class first.
 
My advice is take the course and finish it. Learning how to be a better rider and achieving better riding skills continues the entire time you ride, or at least it should be IMO. Read books watch videos Twist of the wrist is a must see video.
 
There is no cutting corners you will end up in a ditch....
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SkH
In wa state, you take the msf completion card to the dmv and pay for your new license that has the endorsement. I'll take an educated guess and say its like that nearly in all states. There probably is no such thing as an immediate endorsement upon msf completion.
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Zephyr
I'll be taking the MSF course next month. Just like others have stated. In Hawaii you take the MSF completion card to the DMV and pay for the new license with the endorsement. The MSF completion card exempts the licensee from the DMV rider course as well as any "probationary" periods. Hawaii states a minimum of 6 months between permit to road course license test. With the MSF completion you could theoretically get your permit one week and return the following week for your permanent endorsement license if you have the MSF completion done after the permit was taken.
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i28
My question is for anyone who has been through this process. I already have my permit, so there is no need for me to re-take the written test. Upon successful completion of the MSP will I instantly have my endorsement, or do I have to wait for them to process my completion and take that paper work to the DMV? Will I be able to ride after dark, and on the freeway right away, or do I have to actually go to the DMV after the completion of the class.
 
Fellow Californian here. I just went through this process. Once you finish the class, it takes them about two weeks for them to mail you the paper. Technically, you still only have a permit until you take that paper to the DMV and they process it. Then you'll have a license and can ride at nights and on the freeway, etc.
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forcefed86
Im in California. I took the written test (on on a touch screen monitor nowdays) i had my permit for 1 week before my msf appointment. I had to take a written at the course classroom but its so easy. You take the riden test on sunday. You go back to dmw, best if you make appointment with the msf certificate (make a copy as the dmw keeps your original and my ensurance demanded a copy of certificate) & they take your photo.
 
Warning i had had to retake my C class as well eventhough i had renewed it 2 years ago.
 
Ps. I received my certificate the very same day on sunday after completing the evaluation along with another msf certificate that i could use at cycle gear for 10-15% off on gear which saved me 100 bucks on the stuff i got.
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Jeckler
Like most others, I too took the MSF after getting my M permit. I also didn't want to wait and went ahead and took the DMV skills test to get the full endorsement before taking the class. I had already been riding for a few years, off and on, on other people's bikes. I mostly took it for the small insurance discount and to make the wife happy.
But to confirm, you take the completion certificate, really it's the size of a business card, in to DMV. I still have mine from 2001.
And once you have it, it should be good in every state, just make sure that if you move, you point out that you have a motorcycle endorsement. I almost walked out of the MVD here in Arizona when I got here 9 years ago without it.
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Beemer
Wow! This is a philthy subject but it has to be done, ha! ;) I recommend calling the DMV because their answer is the one that matters. I would say that legally, you can't ride until you've been to the DMV and physically have your drivers license on person w/endorsement. Cops don't care about what people say, just what the law says and if they don't see an endorsement on your license there's a good chance your bike will get towed. Btw, it took a couple days (processing paperwork (puke) ) from the time I passed the MSF course to the time I had an endorsed license. I'm in Florida.
 
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Redstang4
When I did the MSF(I bypassed the DMV process) we were given a card stating course, location, completion of, and date. It was considered a license right then and there. You had 30 days to get to the DMV, present it and get an actual M2 license. If you didn't get it within that 30 days it was void and you would have to do it all over again.

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pattonme
@redstang4 , is that coming from a MSF instructor or from a DMV representative? I'm in NOVA and I got my butt hauled over on 495 and had to PUSH my bike a mile along the highway to Braddock Road because I didn't have an 'M', completion card be damned. The completion card is not a legal document and is not admissible.
 
I've signed hundreds of cards and we are very clear with the students (Loudoun and Alexandria) what the card does and does not do. It's possible the law has been changed recently, but I'd be very surprised if this was now DMV policy.
 
> If you didn't get it within that 30 days it was void and you would have to do it all over again.
 
It's only void as far as the DMV is concerned. Your insurance co will still accept it as proof several years hence. But if you do miss the 30 day window I'd hope your weekend was sufficiently productive that you could take the standard DMV riding test and ace it.
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Redstang4
 
 

@redstang4 , is that coming from a MSF instructor or from a DMV representative? I'm in NOVA and I got my butt hauled over on 495 and had to PUSH my bike a mile along the highway to Braddock Road because I didn't have an 'M', completion card be damned. The completion card is not a legal document and is not admissible. 
I've signed hundreds of cards and we are very clear with the students (Loudoun and Alexandria) what the card does and does not do. It's possible the law has been changed recently, but I'd be very surprised if this was now DMV policy.
 
> If you didn't get it within that 30 days it was void and you would have to do it all over again.
 
It's only void as far as the DMV is concerned. Your insurance co will still accept it as proof several years hence. But if you do miss the 30 day window I'd hope your weekend was sufficiently productive that you could take the standard DMV riding test and ace it.
 
Per MSF instructor. I doubt the law has changed, I'd wager that the instructor was making it out to be more than it was. I was at the DMV next am to be sure though. Was a place in Fredericksburg, decent place--not the worst, not the best.
 
Why were you pulled over? I'm not too far from 495/Braddock at the moment, that had to be a horrible mile.

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pattonme
Illegal pass on the right, I think it was. Basically a mild form of lane-splitting. It was one of those legendary tie-ups.

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philthyphil
Im in California. I took the written test (on on a touch screen monitor nowdays) i had my permit for 1 week before my msf appointment. I had to take a written at the course classroom but its so easy. You take the riden test on sunday. You go back to dmw, best if you make appointment with the msf certificate (make a copy as the dmw keeps your original and my ensurance demanded a copy of certificate) & they take your photo.  
Warning i had had to retake my C class as well eventhough i had renewed it 2 years ago.
 
Ps. I received my certificate the very same day on sunday after completing the evaluation along with another msf certificate that i could use at cycle gear for 10-15% off on gear which saved me 100 bucks on the stuff i got.
Yea, I had the same experience thus far with the written test. Also took it on a touch screen monitor, which was kinda neat. Also had to re-take the class C test without having any prior knowledge that I was going to have to. The funny thing is that I didn't even study for the class C test and I got 100% on it. I did study for the motorcycle test, and I missed one on that. Go figure. I'm hoping that my insurance rate can be adjusted after completing the MSF course. I'm already signed on for a year of full coverage with McGraw motorcycle insurance at $180 a month. I'm hoping that will go down some. I don't know if they'll adjust the price now that I'm already engaged in a year contract. I somehow doubt they will. I'm actually taking the MSF course at a Harley Davidson dealership, and the offer the same type of discount on gear after taking the course. I don't know if they carry much that I would be interested in though. I'm not really into the cruiser oriented gear.  
Thank you for sharing your experience with me. It sounds like you took about the same exact route as myself. Now I have a good idea of what to expect. 

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ddog
Im in California. I took the written test (on on a touch screen monitor nowdays) i had my permit for 1 week before my msf appointment. I had to take a written at the course classroom but its so easy. You take the riden test on sunday. You go back to dmw, best if you make appointment with the msf certificate (make a copy as the dmw keeps your original and my ensurance demanded a copy of certificate) & they take your photo.  
Warning i had had to retake my C class as well eventhough i had renewed it 2 years ago.
 
Ps. I received my certificate the very same day on sunday after completing the evaluation along with another msf certificate that i could use at cycle gear for 10-15% off on gear which saved me 100 bucks on the stuff i got.
 
My experience was identical, in California.

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forcefed86
Im in California. I took the written test (on on a touch screen monitor nowdays) i had my permit for 1 week before my msf appointment. I had to take a written at the course classroom but its so easy. You take the riden test on sunday. You go back to dmw, best if you make appointment with the msf certificate (make a copy as the dmw keeps your original and my ensurance demanded a copy of certificate) & they take your photo.  
Warning i had had to retake my C class as well eventhough i had renewed it 2 years ago.
 
Ps. I received my certificate the very same day on sunday after completing the evaluation along with another msf certificate that i could use at cycle gear for 10-15% off on gear which saved me 100 bucks on the stuff i got.
Yea, I had the same experience thus far with the written test. Also took it on a touch screen monitor, which was kinda neat. Also had to re-take the class C test without having any prior knowledge that I was going to have to. The funny thing is that I didn't even study for the class C test and I got 100% on it. I did study for the motorcycle test, and I missed one on that. Go figure. I'm hoping that my insurance rate can be adjusted after completing the MSF course. I'm already signed on for a year of full coverage with McGraw motorcycle insurance at $180 a month. I'm hoping that will go down some. I don't know if they'll adjust the price now that I'm already engaged in a year contract. I somehow doubt they will. I'm actually taking the MSF course at a Harley Davidson dealership, and the offer the same type of discount on gear after taking the course. I don't know if they carry much that I would be interested in though. I'm not really into the cruiser oriented gear.  
Thank you for sharing your experience with me. It sounds like you took about the same exact route as myself. Now I have a good idea of what to expect. 
 
 
 
That crazy for 180 a month, look somewhere else. I was a new rider wuth 0 experience a year ago. However, i did have to pay an entire year of full coverage since again i was new and the fz was a "sport" bike. The highest quote i got was geico at 900+ for the year. I settled with my car insurance agent since shes been good and didnt want to bother with different agents.  I stayed with farmers at 690 a year full coverage with medical as well at 100k for my self, 50k for passenger and 50k for others. Here locally harley took over the msf as well, but ask if you can shop at cycle to use the coupon, if not have them price match/order you the gear you want. 
 
 Maybe the 180 is due to age and history of driving perhaps. 
 

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philthyphil
Yea, I had the same experience thus far with the written test. Also took it on a touch screen monitor, which was kinda neat. Also had to re-take the class C test without having any prior knowledge that I was going to have to. The funny thing is that I didn't even study for the class C test and I got 100% on it. I did study for the motorcycle test, and I missed one on that. Go figure. I'm hoping that my insurance rate can be adjusted after completing the MSF course. I'm already signed on for a year of full coverage with McGraw motorcycle insurance at $180 a month. I'm hoping that will go down some. I don't know if they'll adjust the price now that I'm already engaged in a year contract. I somehow doubt they will. I'm actually taking the MSF course at a Harley Davidson dealership, and the offer the same type of discount on gear after taking the course. I don't know if they carry much that I would be interested in though. I'm not really into the cruiser oriented gear.  
Thank you for sharing your experience with me. It sounds like you took about the same exact route as myself. Now I have a good idea of what to expect. 
 
 
 
That crazy for 180 a month, look somewhere else. I was a new rider wuth 0 experience a year ago. However, i did have to pay an entire year of full coverage since again i was new and the fz was a "sport" bike. The highest quote i got was geico at 900+ for the year. I settled with my car insurance agent since shes been good and didnt want to bother with different agents.  I stayed with farmers at 690 a year full coverage with medical as well at 100k for my self, 50k for passenger and 50k for others. Here locally harley took over the msf as well, but ask if you can shop at cycle to use the coupon, if not have them price match/order you the gear you want. 
 
 Maybe the 180 is due to age and history of driving perhaps. 
 
I really don't know why I couldn't get a decent deal on insurance. The best quote I got was from someone that the dealer recommended to me. I actually called the agent from the dealers office phone while they were preparing my paperwork for the bike, and she quoted me a little under $900 for a year, and she wanted it all up front. I decided to shop around some more and to my dismay I couldn't get anything close to that. I went to Geico, they wanted over $2000 for the year, spread out. Progressive wanted almost $3000 up front. I finally got a quote from McGraw for $180 a month and I took it. I don't have any tickets on my record. My driving record is spotless for the past 10 years. I'm almost 37 years old. I figured I'd be able to get cheap insurance. I was wrong, and believe me, I shopped around allot. Everyone said it was because the bike is brand new, over 600 cc and I have zero years of experience riding. It think it may have something to do with the area that I live in too. It has one of the highest statistics for auto and motorcycle theft. It should go down after a while.

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Beemer
@redstang4 , is that coming from a MSF instructor or from a DMV representative? I'm in NOVA and I got my butt hauled over on 495 and had to PUSH my bike a mile along the highway to Braddock Road because I didn't have an 'M', completion card be damned. The completion card is not a legal document and is not admissible. 
I've signed hundreds of cards and we are very clear with the students (Loudoun and Alexandria) what the card does and does not do. It's possible the law has been changed recently, but I'd be very surprised if this was now DMV policy.
 
> If you didn't get it within that 30 days it was void and you would have to do it all over again.
 
It's only void as far as the DMV is concerned. Your insurance co will still accept it as proof several years hence. But if you do miss the 30 day window I'd hope your weekend was sufficiently productive that you could take the standard DMV riding test and ace it.
I 2nd this. I recall people asking the MSF instructor if they could ride before they got their actual license and the instructor told them if they got pulled over they might be in trouble. He told them it all depended on the cop, whether he was nice and loose with the law or a meany and strict with it. You take your chances.  

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pattonme
My driving record is spotless for the past 10 years. I'm almost 37 years old. I figured I'd be able to get cheap insurance. ... It think it may have something to do with the area that I live in too. It has one of the highest statistics for auto and motorcycle theft.
 
Something VERY wrong with that quote except for the zip-code and theft. Where is this wonderful mecca of criminality?
Ask if parking it inside helps, and what about an immobilizer alarm.
 
 

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jake

I 2nd this. I recall people asking the MSF instructor if they could ride before they got their actual license and the instructor told them if they got pulled over they might be in trouble. He told them it all depended on the cop, whether he was nice and loose with the law or a meany and strict with it. You take your chances.
Yeah I think that the norm. You take the test in MI get your permit to ride with other riders with there M but cant ride alone until you have yours and you have 6 month window to get your M after the test until you have to take it again. that law does not make sense to me because what is the other rider going to do to help anyway. In the case of being pulled over with out your M if the cop wanted to be strict he could be, I'm guessing that all depends on why he pulled you over in the first place.  

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philthyphil
My driving record is spotless for the past 10 years. I'm almost 37 years old. I figured I'd be able to get cheap insurance. ... It think it may have something to do with the area that I live in too. It has one of the highest statistics for auto and motorcycle theft.
Something VERY wrong with that quote except for the zip-code and theft. Where is this wonderful mecca of criminality? Ask if parking it inside helps, and what about an immobilizer alarm.
 

The only other thing I can think of maybe because of my driving record over 10 years ago. On my insurance policy it says that my driving record is clean. No tickets, accidents, any of that. But, 10 + years ago my driving record was terrible. I had 2 DUI, and several other tickets. I quit drinking almost 10 years ago, and since then I've done allot of growing up and gained responsibility. No one with the insurance companies has said anything to me about my old driving record because it has supposedly all been so long ago that it isn't on my record anymore, but I wouldn't be surprised if that is part of the reason that my rates are so high. I have not had any type of moving violation in the past 10 years, but prior to that my driving record was a mess.  
I checked with 5 different insurance companies when shopping for insurance for this motorcycle, and $180 a month was the best I could do. That is for full coverage. I could have gotten liability for like $17 a month or something ridiculously low like that, which believe me was tempting. The main reason I stuck with full insurance is because I do live in an area where there is a high chance that my bike will be ripped off, and I'm a new rider so the chances of my dropping the bike and hurting it are higher I suppose.  
 
This wonderful mecca of criminality that I live in is called Stockton California. I've already asked/told them that I do park in the garage, and asked about anything that I could do to make it less expensive. The answer that all of the insurance agents gave me was the same. The only thing that is going to bring my rates down is time on the bike, without incident. 
 
 
 

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pattonme
I would get a quote for comprehensive, not to be confused with collision. Unless you owe a bank/3rd party a note, you don't need collision. Now obviously don't go riding into an immovable object at a high rate of speed. Most accidents are a few hundred to a grand or so in real damages. Scrapes and cracked bits don't count as damage in my book.

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forcefed86
Something VERY wrong with that quote except for the zip-code and theft. Where is this wonderful mecca of criminality? Ask if parking it inside helps, and what about an immobilizer alarm.
 

The only other thing I can think of maybe because of my driving record over 10 years ago. On my insurance policy it says that my driving record is clean. No tickets, accidents, any of that. But, 10 + years ago my driving record was terrible. I had 2 DUI, and several other tickets. I quit drinking almost 10 years ago, and since then I've done allot of growing up and gained responsibility. No one with the insurance companies has said anything to me about my old driving record because it has supposedly all been so long ago that it isn't on my record anymore, but I wouldn't be surprised if that is part of the reason that my rates are so high. I have not had any type of moving violation in the past 10 years, but prior to that my driving record was a mess.  
I checked with 5 different insurance companies when shopping for insurance for this motorcycle, and $180 a month was the best I could do. That is for full coverage. I could have gotten liability for like $17 a month or something ridiculously low like that, which believe me was tempting. The main reason I stuck with full insurance is because I do live in an area where there is a high chance that my bike will be ripped off, and I'm a new rider so the chances of my dropping the bike and hurting it are higher I suppose.  
 
This wonderful mecca of criminality that I live in is called Stockton California. I've already asked/told them that I do park in the garage, and asked about anything that I could do to make it less expensive. The answer that all of the insurance agents gave me was the same. The only thing that is going to bring my rates down is time on the bike, without incident. 
 

 
 
Check with foremost, it is part of farmers insurance and ive heard its even cheaper dealing directly with them. Stockton is only 1.5 hours north of me. Im in fresno and i can guarantee you its worst here if you havent seen any news. They actually just jacked my buddies ktm 690 right in front of his house.
 

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Beemer
I 2nd this. I recall people asking the MSF instructor if they could ride before they got their actual license and the instructor told them if they got pulled over they might be in trouble. He told them it all depended on the cop, whether he was nice and loose with the law or a meany and strict with it. You take your chances.
Yeah I think that the norm. You take the test in MI get your permit to ride with other riders with there M but cant ride alone until you have yours and you have 6 month window to get your M after the test until you have to take it again. that law does not make sense to me because what is the other rider going to do to help anyway. In the case of being pulled over with out your M if the cop wanted to be strict he could be, I'm guessing that all depends on why he pulled you over in the first place.
Not disagreeing with you one bit but just wanted to say this. I got pulled over once going to a job for speeding. I was new on the job and didn't want to be late. Anyway, the cop that pulled me over was being totally friendly & cool but when his backup arrived a few minutes later that 2nd cop proved to be a total prick. He could see (or should've been able to) the other guy had everything under control, all was quiet until Officer Orifice got to my car and started yelling at me to show him my I.D. The other cop, who was busy writing my ticket at that point, stopped writing and told him I had already showed him everything. This gorilla stood there, chest heaving he seemed so angry, and then yelled for me to show him my registration. The 1st cop again told him a second time he had already checked everything. Scary cop. He was very intimidating, very angry and very out of line. 
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